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The Lilburn Tunnel Bridge Mural in Old Town Lilburn won first place in the Murals and Banners category of the 2014 International Sign Contest. The annual contest is conducted by “Signs of the Times” magazine, a trade publication for the signage and environmental-graphics markets.
In 2012, the Lilburn City Council commissioned local artist Sonny Franks to paint a mural on the Cofer Electric building at the corner of Railroad Avenue and Main Street. Completed in 2013, the startlingly life-like tunnel bridge scene has become a popular photo spot for visitors and residents.
Steve Aust, “Signs of the Times” Senior Associate Editor and contest coordinator, said, “Even in this era of rapidly advancing technology transforming our industry, many signmakers still complete murals and signage painstakingly crafted by hand. Even the most technologically savvy in our field revere these artisans. We are honored that Sonny chose to submit such a memorable project to the field, and its First Place triumph is well deserved.”
Franks is part of a group of artists called “Walldogs” who travel the country painting murals. He enlisted the talents of fellow muralist Chris Shuster of Sharpsburg, KY. Franks designed the artwork in Adobe Photoshop software, and the duo painted the project with brushes, rollers, sponges, and an airbrush.
“I think it is important to develop artwork that generates interest in our city. We are so proud to have an award-winning mural in our Old Town area,” Mayor Johnny Crist said.
The $10,000 cost of the mural was funded through the city’s Public Art Fund; businesses constructing a building valued at more than $750,000 may contribute to the fund in lieu of placing a work of art at their commercial development.